Tour a 1,000-Square-Foot Home Covered in Color in Washington D.C.

How many hues can you fit into a home? HGTV Magazine shows you a wowza space decked out in unexpected shades and lively combos.

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May 21, 2020

Bring on the Bold!

Because if there’s one thing that makes a home cheerful, it’s color. That was especially key for Rachel Simon, who redid her 1937 row house in Washington, D.C., after her divorce. “I’ve always been a colorphile, but I was craving fearless hues to reflect this chapter in my life,” she says. Rachel called on designer Kerra Michele to do a big reno and make her place feel more open. First the duo nailed down the color of a main fixed piece: the kitchen island (emerald). From there, they chose a bright blue sofa, then layered in other colors, repeating shades from room to room for continuity and sprinkling in quirky accents. “I love living in a happy place that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” Rachel says. “It’s become a reflection of me.”


For a showstopper island, designer Kerra suggested a green campaign-style one, a favorite Rachel look (notice the CB2 side table in the living room). For cabinets, Rachel had in mind a modern apothecary feel, achieved with custom mesh fronts. The counters, by Atlas Stone, are porcelain made to look like marble. “I didn’t trust myself to catch every last bit of tomato juice,” Rachel says. The sputnik-like light fixture is by Lumens.

Living Room

“This mix of colors is both energizing and calming,” Rachel says. How that’s possible: The lilac wall, teal Room & Board sofa, and chartreuse radiator (each one in the house is a different color!) coexist with neutral pieces. The patterns in the custom Flor rug and West Elm drapes play into the excitement. Look closely — the brass tiebacks are hands (by Anthropologie). “It’s good to have details that go beyond what first meets the eye,” Rachel says.

Master Bedroom

Rachel wanted over-the-top girly. “I wasn’t decorating for two anymore!” And she got it, with lush Ellie Cashman wallpaper and luxe velvet curtains from Ikea. A dainty dotted duvet by Kate Spade offsets the bold flowers. A glam mirror by CB2 was a worthwhile splurge.


“I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t reglaze a white tub!” Rachel says. “It’s not expensive, you can pick any color, and it makes a huge impact.” That blue matches the living room sofa. The matte finish of the penny tiles on the walls and floors looks cool next to the tub, and framing them with rectangular black tiles is a modern touch. Turquoise walls and a palm leaf shower curtain by Urban Outfitters give this spot a tropical vacay vibe.

Guest Bedroom

This was once an office that didn’t get much use. “It was collecting junk, and it felt like an outward manifestation of my mental state,” Rachel says. So she and Kerra reimagined it as a chic spot for visitors. That adorable CB2 settee pulls out into a bed; its blush hue adds restful vibes to an otherwise energetic space. “The room’s color palette is a bit off the wall, but it works,” Rachel says. “When the colors are layered, they mute each other out.”

Paint Shades Pictured

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